Hurricane Harvey hit hard; the death toll in Texas is rising and cybercriminals are exploiting the disaster.

Scammers are attempting to trick people into clicking links on Facebook, Twitter and in phishing emails, by trying to solicit charitable giving for the flood victims. For example:

  • Facebook pages dedicated to victim relief contain links to scam websites
  • Tweets are going out with links to charitable websites soliciting donations, but in reality, include links to scam sites or links that lead to a malware infection
  • Phishing emails dropping in a user’s inbox asking for donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Fund

Timothy Crosby, Senior Security Consultant for Spohn Security Solutions, says this newest scam evidences the growing risk that the public faces with cyber intrusions.

“Previous disasters have been exploited like this, and the general public often doesn’t realize they’re being scammed until it’s too late. I’m not discouraging donating or helping, but everyone should be wary of anything online covering the Hurricane Harvey disaster in the following weeks.” said Crosby.

His solution: as a safeguard, people must remain vigilant and think before they click.

Here are Crosby’s top tips:

  • To donate, go directly to the website of the charity of your choice.
  • DO NOT click any links in emails or texts.
  • Type the address in your browser or use a bookmark.



Spohn Consulting works with organizations to assess the security status of their networks, information, and systems based on Identification and Authorization resources, e.g., people, hardware, software, policies, and capabilities in place to manage the defense of the enterprise and to react as the situation changes.